Archive for the Writing Category

Want to Help Me Write a Book?

Posted in Magical Systems, Techniques, Writing on April 18, 2014 by P. Dunn

I’m toying with ideas for my next book.  I’d like to do some research among those who practice magic.  Would you be interested in being interviewed for this possible book?  This may involve sharing some of your magical successes and failures, and perhaps trying a few techniques and reporting back.  There may be several follow-up interviews, as well.  If the book is published and I use your experiences, you will receive credit (either to your name or a pseudonym) and your experiences will be cited in the text.  I’ll also send you a free copy of the book when it comes out (but don’t hold your breath: it takes at least a year to write a book, and another year for it to come out).  I can’t guarantee that I’ll use everyone’s experiences.  But if nothing else, we may be able to share some ideas and techniques, even if they don’t end up as a book.

Feel free to join in whether you’re very advanced in magic or a brand-new beginner.  The book I’m envisioning is an advanced book, but I want beginners to be able to benefit from it.

If interested, email me at pee double-yew dunn at gmail dot com (address obscured in order to confound spambots.  Not that that’ll work.  Essentially, it’s my first and middle initial followed by my last name).  And be patient with me; it’s a busy time of the year for me.


Posted in Writing on February 4, 2012 by P. Dunn

Yay, the first draft of the book on theurgy is done.  All except the introduction, which will be finished in a couple days.  Then, it’s revision time.

I won’t know until I read over it, but my impression is that I am quite happy with it.  I think I even like it better than my second book, Magic Power Language Symbol, which is my favorite so far.  It’s the sort of book I wish I could go buy and read, which is always my touchstone for the stuff I write.

This one’s a bit of a doorstopper for occult books, too.

My next project might be some translation, depending on how quickly I can whip my Greek into shape.

“Second Person” Now Available for Preorder!

Posted in Writing on June 20, 2011 by P. Dunn

I am very pleased to announce that my first book of poetry, “Second Person,” has been published by Finishing Line Press and is available for preorder now. Please click the above link and scroll down to “Dunn,” where you can find it.

Preorders determine print run, so if you can preorder, it’d help me out quite a lot. Moreover, you get a discount on shipping, I believe, if you preorder from the publisher.

This book of poetry concerns the mystical connection we have with our world as a “thou” rather than an “it.” It’s about not only the relationship between self and other, but between Self and Other.

Stick Figure Hermeticism

Posted in Language, Magical Systems, Music, Writing on November 21, 2010 by P. Dunn

Driving around the suburbs, I see more and more cars with little stick figure families. If you don’t know what I mean, these are decals on the back window that depict the dynamic of the family: usually a father, a mother, two kids, a soccer ball, and a dog. Or some combination thereof. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a site that sells them. I am not endorsing this site in any way, and I give you fair warning: it’s in comic sans.

I kind of want to make a line of Hermetic stick figure families. I’d have two men, two (three, soon, hopefully) books, two manuscripts, an easel and some paintings . . .

It is right and fitting from a hermetic perspective that people affirm their identity by means of their children. It is even right and fitting that they advertise such things in glyphs on their vehicles. After all, our children make hieroglyphs on our bodies and souls: why not on our cars? But the magician recognizes that there are children and there are children. To create flesh-and-blood children is wonderful, but it’s also wonderful to create other children: a unique arrangement of words, a painting, a language, a new way of cooking fish, a song. We create our soul by the children we have. It doesn’t matter if anyone else likes them (no one is ever going to pay to hear the songs I write, I suspect, and certainly no one is interested in artificial languages). What matters is that before me, there were not these things in the world. After me, there is.

The only real difference between the magician and the artist, I suspect, is that the hermetic magician never puts down his or her brushes and pallet, and regards the whole world as an easel.


Posted in Writing on December 3, 2009 by P. Dunn

Well, Nanowrimo is two days over, and I made it to 33,000 words.  But I didn’t use the recommended technique; I outlined and planned instead.  And the writing is going well.  My current goal is 1000 words a day, and I’m about a third of the way done with the book, I think, maybe a bit more.

So I failed at Nano, but don’t mind.

A Tip for Writers

Posted in Writing on November 14, 2009 by P. Dunn

I learned something useful recently that I’d thought I’d share for those who wish to be writers.

A few weeks ago, during a storm of deadlines and work stress, my usual writing computer died.  It’s also a fairly high powered gaming computer, and it does this occasionally and I have to reinstall Windows.  The tech support for this particular company seems to regard that as both normal and desirable.  What they seem to forget is that it takes an entire day to install Windows.

In frustration, I went and bought a Macbook.  I will resist the urge to proselytize, but here’s what I learned:

Keep your gaming computer and your writing computer separate, and you will triple your productivity.


Posted in Writing on November 8, 2009 by P. Dunn

I’m doing Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, despite not realizing it until about four days in.  I’m already way behind, but I’m not giving up.  Even if I don’t finish it in November, I hope to at least get a detailed outline done.  I’d really like to write a novel.  I’ve resisted it by thinking, “well, I could write a book on magic and get some money,” but no matter what those don’t bring in that much.  So why not amuse myself, do something for the intrinsic reward, and not worry about cash?  Of course, I did write my books on magic for the intrinsic reward; I’ve never had an illusion about how much money a writer makes.  But writing a novel is a crazy, kind of irresponsible thing for an academic to do.  So — I’m doing it.

Copyright is Serious

Posted in Writing on June 27, 2009 by P. Dunn

An acquaintance of mine has self-published a book through Lulu.  Her interests include spiritual protection and healing.

Two people in France falsely claiming the title Frater (because no Frater would behave this way) have translated the book into French without her permission and are either seeking a publisher or selling it — it’s not clear which.  Either is a violation of copyright.

They are in violation of international copyright treaties, specifically the Berne Convention, and will therefore be subject to criminal charges in France for stealing this intellectual property.  The two people responsible style themselves Tau Zorobabel and Luxaor.

I’m not sure if the author has the resources to pursue her rights in this matter.  I hope that she does.  I also hope that any French publishers considering this unauthorized copy will realize that it violates French law to publish it.

Anyone who wishes to legimately publish an author’s work in translation can contact that writer’s publisher (in my case Llewellyn, and thank you) to purchase the rights to do so.  They are not particularly exhorbitant.  I welcome all such legimate translations.  Illegal violations of copyright should be pursued, however.

End of Semester

Posted in Writing on May 14, 2009 by P. Dunn

The thrill of the end of the semester lasts until the second day off, I’ve learned.  At that point, I look at my unfinished novel, call myself names for being so derivative and dull, and start waiting for the next semester to start.  But it ends happily — I sit down finally and write a bit.  You can never predict how well a day’s writing will go by how you feel in the morning, especially before lunch.

I’m about fifty pages or so from finishing this draft, then I can start work on my next work of nonfiction.  I don’t know why I’m writing a novel, actually.  I’m pretty bad at fiction, and I doubt it’ll ever see print.  I would like to say it’s just for the fun of it, but it’s not that much fun.  So I have no idea.

Work in Idleness

Posted in Writing on December 31, 2008 by P. Dunn

My last post got some response.  I was particularly interested by the comment by Frater R. O., who suggested that guilt is appropriate when one should be working, but isn’t.

I think there’s a place for idleness, though, in work.  I sometimes think that the writing process itself is built on staring at blank walls and thinking about not much in particular in a conscious sense.  But part of me just gets restless, and that’s the part that needs to calm down at the idea generation stage.

That might be why revision is becoming my favorite stage in the writing process.  The ideas are there, and the goal is just to make them clearer — it’s a more defined goal than the earlier drafting stages, and best of all, there’s obvious improvement visible as one works.  And, unlike editing, revision engages the actual ideas.


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